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Pet Ownership in Decline

According to a new survey conducted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), pet ownership has experienced a slight decline over the past five years. The survey shows a 2.4 decrease from 2006 to 2011. The source book produced by the AVMA reveals that cats are still the most common pet, with the total U.S. population hovering right around 74.1 million, compared to 70 million dogs. Cat owners are more likely to own more than one cat, with 2.1 cats per household and 1.6 dogs per household.

This study also discovered trends in the amount of money Americans are spending on veterinary costs. Veterinary visits for dogs increased in 2011 to 130.4 million, which is a 9.2 increase from 2006. Visits for cats have actually decreased by 4.2 percent from 2006 to 2011. The amount of money dog owners spent on veterinary costs increased to $19.1 billion in 2011, up 18.6 percent from 2006. Cats on the other hand did not increase nearly as much, only at 4.2 percent from 2006 to 2011.

Dog and cat ownership

Dog and cat ownership

This survey was conducted in the spring of 2012 and included 50,000 household in order to collect sufficient data on pet ownership, veterinary spending and visits.

It is unfortunate to see this decline in pet ownership because new studies continue to generate evidence showing how owning a pet can be extremely beneficial. Pets not only provide companionship but they help people deal with stress, lower blood pressure, and help reduce cholesterol. They are known to lower the risk of heart attacks and one study found that cat ownership could cut the risks of a stroke by a third. All in all, pet ownership can end up saving a lot of money on someone’s overall physical and mental health.

What do you think; do the benefits of owning a pet outweigh the veterinary costs?

Click here to read the full article.

About Amber @Trupanion

Amber is a full time student at the University of Washington and she is studying Media and Communications. She is a senior at the UW and is very excited to be getting valuable interning experience at Trupanion. Amber is the proud owner of two Yorkshire Terriers, Lola and Willy. Amber and her two dogs like to do activities outdoors such as hiking, going to the park or simply relaxing in the sun.

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